I love playing video games. It’s my hobby and my passion.
I love it so much in fact, that I set out to build a shrine for all the video game artifacts and collector’s items that I’ve gathered over the years.
I also wanted to build an all around awesome place to plop down and enjoy my latest PS4 pickup.
Trouble was, when I set out to build the ultimate gaming room for my collection, I was instantly hit with a MAJOR price tag.
Some of the room ideas that I really liked cost upwards of $30,000!!
That wasn’t gonna work.
So with some digging around, I found some real bargains in my hunt to build a worthy sanctuary.
I’d like to pass that along to you with some tips on how to find your own deals.
Here are 7 tips to build a gaming room on the cheap that will still impress all your guests.
It All Starts With Sound
The one thing I absolutely had to do was upgrade to a soundbar. For years I had been playing with a standard television with the generic built in speakers.
New games are capable of amazing sound that I just wasn’t making use of with my basic setup.
Now, you can spend thousands of dollars on a sound system alone and to be honest, if you have the money it would totally be worth it.
I went with something more reasonable though. I got a Razer Leviathan woofer and soundbar for just under $200.
It was a definite upgrade and I didn’t have to sell my first born child to get it.
If you already have a television capable of 1080p gaming then I don’t see any need to upgrade to a 4k box.
1080p already looks fantastic and upgrading to 4k isn’t completely necessary if you’re on a budget.
I personally got a used Samsung 55 inch 1080p smart TV from Amazon for $610.
You could probably find a better deal on Craigs list but the piece of mind knowing that Amazon will take care of me if anything goes wrong was worth the extra money.
Entertainment Center & Shelving
Next, I turned my attention to storage and shelving.
In the future, I’m sure that we are all going to download all video games to our consoles and you won’t even be able to buy cartridges or discs.
I, however, have a large collection that I’ve gathered over the years that I’m quite proud of, and I needed a place to display them all.
You have a couple options here. The cheapest would be to go on Craigs list and see what people are trying to get rid of.
The problem is that you are looking for a needle in a haystack. You need something that is in good condition and also fits the dimensions of your room.
I went to IKEA instead. It isn’t a grand oak shelving unit by any means but it does the job and looks great.
In the future, I am going to add some more dedicated chairs to my gaming room (instead of pulling in the dining room bar stools for my friends to sit on).
For now, though, I have a simple futon.
I really like the futon because it allows my gaming room to double as a guest bedroom.
When someone comes to stay they just pull it out into a bed.
Here I did go with Craigs list.
I didn’t need anything to fit specific dimensions, so I just found something that looked good and was cheap ($50 bucks)!
Works great and is comfortable enough for hours of gaming.
Add Some Awesome
I really wanted to add some led lights to the back of my tv and if you look at the pic below you’ll know why.
It adds a really cool effect and when my friends come over to play games it really blows their minds.
You could get some inexpensive led lights here but I went with a bit more expensive solution.
I wanted to control the lights with my Amazon Echo so I was left with two options.
Lifx or Hue. I went with the Philips Hue because the network is a bit more reliable and there are more apps that allow you to do cool things with the lights.
This is completely optional but I also found some really great dark heavy curtains on Craigs list.
My Philips Hue lights now look really fantastic at any time of day.
It also reduces any glare on my television so I can enjoy the game better.
It might not be for everyone but for me at least, it really makes a big difference.
The Final Touch
I had a few posters that I’ve collected over the years but they were in rough shape.
So I went to Amazon to look for some cool retro gaming posters and artwork to put on the walls.
I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for so I went to Cafepress and had them make some custom posters.
You can just find the retro gaming poster you like online and have them print one out and send it to you.
The biggest thing to keep in mind when trying to build a budget gaming room is that more time you are willing to spend, the less money it will cost you.
If I wanted to spend more time looking for a shelving unit to fit my collection on Craigs list or going to yard sales, I wouldn’t have had to buy a brand new one from Ikea.
Also, you don’t have to pull the trigger on all these items all at once.
You could start small by first getting a nice used entertainment center and building around it until you get something you’ll love.
I’m constantly adding to my game room to this day.